portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting global

actions & protests | police / legal

Report from Germany #5

A story from Rostock
To all you rascals,

I've been making benches out here in the German country side. My friends and I perfected our design and have now made a total of 5 for our barrio in Camp Reddelich. The wood for the benches and everything else was collected by a group I only know as the "hand crafters". They are kind of like carpenters guild with different members wearing different color pants showing their level of knowledge. They have built a 40 foot watch tower, showers, a playground, a bar with 2 fire pits and other things, all with uneven, un-processed wood. I love these "hand crafters" and want them to be everywhere.
I had a few days of light, siesta ridden work at the camp and saved up my energy for the demo on the 2nd. I knew something would probably happen but it wouldn't be too big. David Rovicks played in the bar, desperate for a joint, fire blazed in the pits, everyone had a good old time and then went to bed.
The next morning I got on the train from Reddelich to Rostock with about 500 other people. Most of us had to stand the entire time. At the central station in Rostock the demo was starting. I waited around as I usually do and then found the black bloc closest to the front of the march. We started walking and almost immediately the spraypaint came out. We passed the Radisson and things were thrown. Fireworks went off. I began to smile. There were nearly 600 of us in just that one block. This was going to be fun.

How do we get these numbers in the States? I don't think there is one answer. What I am seeing out here is a movement that is beyond theory. Pedestrians and hooligans join the blocs when they see them pass. I have heard the blocs described as 'cool' by teenagers several times. People my age still join in with enthusiaism.
I think we take ourselves a little too seriously sometimes. I think we tend to attack each other because of our inability to attack the State. And I think here in Germany (and elsewhere) the idea of the 'spectacle' is understood not as a positive or a negative but as a force to be utilized. A dirsuption, using THEIR spectacle to prop itself up, penetrates through the fog in people's mind because it is right outside, because when someone sees a black clad anarchist throwing a bottle, that person realizes they can throw one at the "invinsible" cops as well. And then, perhaps, knowing some people who are anarchists, that person will get curious. In enough time, that person will be severed from THEIR system, maybe not economically, but mentally, the most important way. I think (and after this I'll shut up) we focus all our energy on the economic and material severence from THEIR system and judge anyone who is not visibly on the same level as us. Not that Germany doesn't have that problem. It has the same problems we do. But those problems are solved differently. That's it.

The two green clad cops covered their heads as glass shattered all around them. The metal bars came down in rhythm. Cheers erupted in the bloc behind them. Every window was smashed in the police van. The bloc protected and absorbed everything. And then the bank. Same thing. We could get away with anything. The cops, who had appeared so ominous to me in Hamburg, were just what they were: weak, insecure human beings. The march came down to the end point. There was a brief moment of milling about. And then running. White helmets coming forward, black hoods retreating, turning around and then advancing. A pool of of burning oil and gas erupted on the street. Rocks and bottles being to fly. The pigs pushed forward, we pushed back harder. We had so many people all they could do is vainly charge in, hoping to subdue us. This didn't happen. We surrounded them and let go. Brick by brick the street covering the soil began to be ripped apart and we threw what they were defending back at them. And then we had pushed them back and they were not advancing any more.

150 pigs were injured. 25 seriously.

It was surreal having the music playing while we were rioting. It was agravating having the pull pasifists of the rioters while at the same time hearing the stage imploring us to stop fighting. As I said, Germany has the same problems: pascifists violently attacking people, liberals caring more about their stage and speakers than the present reality, etc, etc, etc. The difference was that here there were thousands of us attacking the police.

The riots went on into the night.

Yesterday was just the beggining.

-Annie Nimmety

And... 03.Jun.2007 06:06

Seda

Here at the convergence center, the most recent, unofficial reports are in the hundreds for injuries suffered by police, over 20 of the serious. Two police officers are rumored to be in comas, and it has been heard over police scanners (though of course not reported on corporate media) that one police pistol was stolen during the riots. It was an inspiring and terrifying day, and we are all expecting for even more action in the week to come. Wow, if only all of Porland could be here and see that we really can take on these bastards, Cascadia would surely be a different place. Despite some comments left on other articles earlier, I really hope that Pdx will represent.

I smell the beginning of the end of capitalism as we know it 03.Jun.2007 16:36

Jody Paulson

and of course, here in the United States, the revolution is not being televised. Here is the prioritized lineup of the "top stories" on CNN.com:

-----

Ongoing debate analysis

Ticker: Carville: Edwards the one to watch

Pregnant lady chases pirates at box office

Pentagon: 14 U.S. soldiers killed over weekend

Police: Woman drove car through crowd | Video

Officials: Terror plot targeted JFK airport | Video

G8 protest leaders condemn violence | Gallery

--------------

So that gives you people overseas the idea of how much Americans are being kept in the dark. Yeah, I've grown exasperated with my compatriots over the last few years, but I wish non-Americans understood the degree to which we are kept ignorant. I literally would not know what was going on in Germany right now were it not for Portland Indymedia. This sounds bigger than "the Battle of Seattle" (which was, incidently, the original impetus for Indymedia centers worldwide).

Please keep us posted.

i smell something too and it's rank 04.Jun.2007 11:30

jody morgan

jody p is too right. cnn did cover it, but you have to be looking for it. it's the same thing with google's news page. 80,000 taking to the streets for this kind of cause should be a top story. while there is some domestic coverage, most of it was pretty slanted... the significance of this kind of globalization protest and the specific reasons motivating the protesters is sorely lacking- mostly we're just seeing salacious reports of black hooded anarchists wreaking violent havoc (as though they're just inherently destructive and have nothing better to do with their time. grrrrr). let the big shot news carriers know that democracy is on the move and that those who are participating in it don't really give a shit about the guy who was in a coma for 20 years.